Riders prep for a 'Bedouin trek'

 

Riders prep for a Bedouin trek
The 500-km desert journey will culminate at the Heritage Village inside the Dubai Global Village on January 27.

Dubai - They have been training in the past couple of weeks in preparation for the fourth edition of the 'Camel Trek' organised by the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Centre which will start on January 17 at Liwa Desert.

by

Angel Tesorero

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Published: Fri 12 Jan 2018, 7:08 PM

Last updated: Fri 12 Jan 2018, 9:12 PM

It was 4pm Wednesday afternoon at a camel farm in Al Nakhra, off Dubai-Al Ain Road. Charlotte, Nicola, Mila and Fatima have just changed their office attire and donned traditional clothes while Muhamad just arrived after driving for more than 50km from work. 
They're expats based in Dubai and Abu Dhabi and although they came from various countries and cultures, the common things that bind them are their love for camels and passion to learn and integrate with Arabic culture. 
They have been training in the past couple of weeks in preparation for the fourth edition of the 'Camel Trek' organised by the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Centre which will start on January 17 at Liwa Desert. They will be joined by 10 more participants who will go on a journey across the vast expanse of the UAE desert for 10 days. The 500-km desert journey will culminate at the Heritage Village inside the Dubai Global Village on January 27. 
Some of them have done the Camel Trek at least a couple of times while majority are doing it for the first time this year. The main attraction of the journey is that they will live the nomadic life of Bedouins who used to travel in the desert. They will be deprived of any modern technology and will have to rely on the camel, the 'ship of the desert', to carry them throughout the journey. 
French national Charlotte Sarrazin can be considered a veteran of sorts, for this will be her third year to take part in the Camel Trek but she told Khaleej Times that she is still as excited as it was her first time.
"Every trip is different, every route is different and every year you meet different people who join the caravan," said the 37-year old restaurateur who is based in Abu Dhabi.
"This year will be more exciting because I will be riding my own eight-year-old camel whom I named 'Zabi' - which means gazelle," she added. "We started training last summer and this is my first time with her and first time for her on this kind of trip. The challenge is huge because I'm not experienced enough to lead her. She is very strong because she used to be a racing camel."
But Charlotte is ready to take a leadership role, especially among the female participants. "I will give them some tips on how to handle their camels and I will encourage them to enjoy every moment in the desert," she said.
Riding a camel is really something special for Ukrainian expat Mila Kladova. It was her birthday on December 28 when she received a gift of training to ride a camel. 
"It was my first experience of being on a camel. I was so emotional. It was unbelievable. It was also amazing because I learned there are some similar Arabic and Ukrainian words like 'sukr' which means sugar. Now, I named my camel, which I will ride on the journey, Sukr," Mila told Khaleej Times. 
"I will also learn more Arabic words throughout the voyage because it shows respect to this country when you can speak basic words and this country has given me a lot of opportunities," added Mila.
British expat Nicola Mather, a mother of two and who has been in the UAE since 2004, added: "I'm genuinely interested in the history of the UAE. I had followed this trek for the last four years through newspaper articles. Now, my children are older and studying abroad so I finally had the opportunity to join the trek. Initially, I didn't think they would choose me because I'm much older than others in the group. But I'm really looking forward to seeing the beauty of the UAE and also to understand how people lived in the past." 
angel@khaleejtimes.com
 



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